PODCAST: Local nursery hopes to switch out the classic Christmas tree for a native plant
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - With the holidays just around the corner, families across Hawaii are putting up Christmas trees in their homes.
While many often buy the popular Douglas or Noble firs, there’s a plant nursery in Kaneohe that’s hoping to convince people to switch to a native tree to celebrate the holidays.
Rick Barboza is the co-founder of Hui Ku Maoli Ola, a commercial nursery that sells Native Hawaiian and Polynesian-introduced plants — and he wants the alahee tree to be the new face of Christmas in Hawaii.
“He didn’t like the idea of having a dead tree in his house because there’s no point of keeping a tree that you’re eventually going to throw away,” Barboza told Honolulu Civil Beat Reporter Cassie Ordonio. She originally reported this story and recently sat down with HNN’s Repairing Earth podcast to talk about why this new alternative is a more sustainable option.
Listen to the full conversation below:
Barboza said he chose the alahee because it grew similarly and the branches were thick enough to hang ornaments.
Switching to buy a native tree that you can continue to grow and use for generations is becoming an increasingly appealing option as climate change continues to take its toll on the environment.
According to Ordonio’s report, Hawaii imports an average of 250,000 Christmas trees from the mainland — and a survey found that 96% of trees sold in Hawaii were imported while just 4% were locally grown.
Plus, a huge benefit of buying a tree like the alahee is that you are supporting Hawaii’s native plants and helping to grow that ecosystem.
Read the full Civil Beat story here.
For more on the conversation, listen to the Repairing Earth (Holiday Edition): Celebrating Christmas with a Native Tree, on the HNN website or anywhere you get your podcasts.
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